SEE THIS LINK FOR BLOG SUMMARY AND SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM

Click this link for TOPICAL INDEX OF POSTS

About Me

A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Who Wrote the Bible Part Two

This is a continuation of Who Wrote the Bible Part One

Suppose we have an ancient Japanese history book from Japan that writes:

 “Now these are the kings that reigned in the land of Fujian China, before their reigned any king over the children of Japan: Xian,....”

The plain meaning is that Fujian China had kings before Japan did. Also, the plain meaning is the text is being written after there was at least one king in Japan. Because “before”  there was no Japanese king , but at the time of writing there must have occurred a least one king in Japan. Implicitly the text is marking  two periods for the reader. One period is prior to Japan having a king, and one after Japan had a king. The marker ‘before their reigned any king over the children of Japan’ does not make sense unless Japan experienced a king already.

It seems very reasonable to conclude the history book, or at least this section was written after Japan experienced a King.

What does this have to do with the Bible ?

There is a ancient Israelite history text:

I Chronicles Chapter 1: 43 Now these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before their reigned any king over the children of Israel: Bela the son of Beor; and the name of his city was Dinhabah...

Using the same reasoning as for the Japan text, we would deduce  this portion of I Chronicles is being written at a time in Israel’s history when they have already experienced a king. Our deduction would be correct since Chronicles was written after Israel  already experienced a King.

We read in Genesis 36: 31 And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel. 32 And Bela....

Again, applying the same deductions as for the Japanese history book, we can deduce at least this section was most likely written after Israel experienced a king.  Meaning it was not written during the Mosaic period.

Most traditionalist basically hold the entire Torah except a few verses are  from the Mosaic period and this verse creates a ‘problem’ to be solved.

Ibn Ezra argues the Genesis reference to ‘any king over Israel’ is referring to Moses as a the king. This would solve the ‘problem’ except that Moses is never referred to as a king any place in the Tenach. Saul was the first Israelite king.  {The Radak commentary explains that Saul was the first Jewish king}. Also, the Torah could have simply wrote king Moses some how and avoid confusion, but it did not. Ibn Ezra has contrived an ad-hoc explanation to fit an apriori dogma.

Another explanation that there is an embedded prophecy. Again it is a ad-hoc contrived explanation to fit an apriori dogma. Plus, the Genesis verse gives no indication, no clue  it is making a prophecy at all.

The Genesis author just writes the verse as a matter of fact history with no pretenses and with no concern that the verse implies not from the Mosaic period.  Why not ? Most likely the authors and redactors of the Torah did not ‘know’ the Torah was supposed to be from only the Mosaic period. It was a later innovation to claim that essentially the whole Torah was from the Mosaic period.

That this Genesis section was not written during the Mosaic period is the conclusion that is the most parsimonious and consistent with the Israelite texts. Now one verse may not convince. But when other ‘problems’ (anachronisms, contradictions, doublets, triplets, stylistic differences,  third person reports etc: ) are considered the evidence becomes very strong that the Pentateuch most likely is not from Moses, but it is possible some parts of it are from Moses/Mosaic period  or prior.

Continued Who Wrote the Bible Part Three


{Side Note  "And these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel. 32 And Bela...."; Some scholars translate / interpret this as "before there reigned a king of the children of Israel over Edom. This to would have occurred much later than the Mosaic period, and leads to a similar 'problem' for traditionalists}

No comments: